30 July 2017, 10:57 AMChark
As many of you may know, those who have followed this website over the years, I'm married to a gal from Crimea. How we got together is a tale in itself, but bottom line my wife is from a unique area which few Americans know much about. Certainly there's been more mention of the area since the Russian annexation, taking back the region from Ukraine. My own feelings are a bit mixed in that regard. On the one hand, Russia's actions were in my mind not right, smart or legal from an international standpoint. HOWEVER, I also well know that both Ukraine and Russia have their problems and unfortunately Crimea and the people who live there are caught in the middle. Folks should understand a couple important points. Crimea has been in Russian hands since the 1800's, prior to that you could say it was really part of the Ottoman Empire with the Tatars running things. There is a history well beyond those times. The town my wife is from, Feodosiya, was also known as Kafka was the largest slave trading point in the Europe - primarily Slavic people from what we know as Russia and Ukraine being taken by force, and then sold into slavery, used and abused by the wealthy in those Turkic and Persian ruled areas.
Crimea has been considered the Russian Riviera, and Germany also had great plans for the area too with designs for a much different post world war outcome. It's desirable real estate, from many aspects. Certainly the beauty of the area is something special, but it's not a typical vacation spot and won't be for most folks for some time to come. The population of the region has changed quite a bit during the past 100 years, and I'd suggest that Russification (the process of introducing more Russian people into the region was both an unconscious and very conscious decision by many who came to live there. That gave the area some stability, and of course loyalty to the State. My wife's family has lived there for generations, but we're not exactly sure of when they actually arrived in the area. My wife and family are Russian. Most Americans don't know/acknowledge a difference, but there is both a common history and reason for animosity based upon events prior to WWII. Well over 50% of the population of Crimea are Russian, 22% Ukrainian, perhaps 24% Tatar (a number which is growing as some people who were forced from the area during Stalin's day have tried to resettle to their former homeland). Demographics suggest there's a Russian majority. There's also a military connection to Russia, one that from the Russian perspective is vital to their national interests - Savastopol and the warm water port. That's all background, and really not where I'm coming from on this post. It ain't about the politics, it's about the area.
This year I stayed home, it's been quite a few years since I traveled there. But, my wife and both sons did get the opportunity to spend a month there this summer. My wife did a great job with pictures, trying to make me feel like I was tagging along. Her images did a nice job of showing the varied regions within Crimea, some of it's uncommon beauty. That's really what I wanted to share with folks for this post.
30 July 2017, 10:59 AMChark
More Black Sea pictures...
30 July 2017, 11:00 AMChark
Even more Black Sea pictures...
30 July 2017, 11:02 AMChark
On the water, son Mike with cousin. No doubt the only guy in Crimea with a Don't Mess With Texas tee.
30 July 2017, 11:10 AMChark
Just a taste of the area, a little bit of history tossed in n/c. Not necessarily fishing related, but there is some good fishing to be done there. Strange breed of halibut in the Black Sea, but that's another tale for a later post.
30 July 2017, 02:45 PMDr.Surf
Thank you Mark for posting some great family pictures. My great grandfather and grandfather were both conscripted out of their small Russian village to fight in the Crimean war back in the day.
Dr. Michael Barvitz.
07 August 2017, 08:01 AMChark
Thank you for a little family history on your side. Your ancestors lived thru some challenging times and survived against great odds. I'm sure they would be quite proud both of what they accomplished and what their future generations achieved...and are achieving almost 200 years later.